Originally in Area51 the proposal was for Bitcoin, but then it was suggested to enlarge the scope to all crypto-currencies. This idea seemed to have gained some traction, and the name and description of the proposal were changed accordingly.

However, it seems that a mere hours before the private beta launched, the name of the proposal was shortened and the description was changed to remove references to other crypto-currencies. I'm not sure if that was really the intent of those last-minute changes to the proposal.

So would a question about Namecoin, for instance, be on-topic?

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    +1, we all need to completely understand the scope if we're to enforce it. I'd say they are on-topic but should be correctly tagged as per meta.bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/9/… – David Perry Aug 31 '11 at 4:33
  • also, what should users that signed on because of the crypto-currencies part and not the bitcoin part, do? If we think that bitcoin is just a crypto-currency and not something revolutionary, are we welcome here? – Artem Kaznatcheev Sep 2 '11 at 15:57
  • The trilogy sites do very well with very broad scopes. Making the focus of this site too narrow would mean reduced interest. As long as questions are appropriately tagged, I don't see any reason to narrow the scope... – Basic May 13 '14 at 19:03

It seems clear to me that questions about alternatives that are as similar to Bitcoin as Namecoin are clearly on-topic here. I think comparisons are inevitable to far-less-similar systems, and I think those are also clearly on-topic.

But I don't know about a question about details of e.g. the Open Transactions system. To the extent that the bitcoin ecosystem expertise we develop here would be useful, I expect they would be appropriate. But if it is more of a crypto/math question I'd suggest e.g. the cryptography.stackexchange site.

  • I agree that bitcoin alternatives are on-topic. As for questions about open-transactions, I think they are relevant as long as they relate to bitcoins in some way. – nmat Aug 31 '11 at 16:42
  • There's an up-and-coming Economics StackExchange currently in Area51 that might help alleviate some of those issues. If such a question has little to no bitcoin connection then it can probably be redirected there. (Economics SE is @ area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/1618/economics) – David Perry Sep 1 '11 at 21:17

If anything, I think this proposal should've been shortened to "Crypto-currency". I'd appreciate Robert explaining why it was changed back to "Bitcoin", which seems to me to have a significantly reduced scope.

  • Crypto-currency is not shorter ;)I think that you have a good point, but 'Bitcoin' seems much cleaner than 'Crypto-currencies'. – nmat Aug 31 '11 at 16:35
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    The afterthought of adding "... & crypto-currencies" to the proposal seemed overly pedantic when +99% of the questions will be about Bitcoin. And lopping off the "BitCoin" moniker and calling it simply "Cryto-Currency" would only further obfuscate its purpose. @lemonginger is correct; If Bitcoin is eclipsed by a different crypto-currency, we'll cross that bridge when it comes to it. – Robert Cartaino Aug 31 '11 at 19:45
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    @Robert Looking at the last 100 questions I wouldn't say it has been 99% bitcoin. I think Crypto-Currency would be a better topic. Given the beta has barely passing scores I think a broader scope would be better. While people do post about alternatives if the topic was properly titled it may draw more traffic. Also to uninformed user crypto-currency is more informative than bitcoin (which is more like a brand only having meaning if you are familiar w/ bitcoin). A casual user is more likely to say "Hmm what is a crypto-currency"? <click> – DeathAndTaxes Oct 12 '11 at 1:48
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    There's been sort of an explosion in altcoins lately and we've been getting a meaningful number of questions about Litecoin and (sigh) Dogecoin lately. I wouldn't argue against returning to the original "Bitcoin & Crypto-Currencies" name... maybe alongside a site redesign accompanying graduation from beta? (hint hint) – David Perry Feb 10 '14 at 10:01

I was one of the people that recommended that the scope be enlarged to all crypto-currencies, but not all "alternative currencies". I think all crypto-currency questions are pretty on topic. I guess we will cross the bridge about what to do with the site if bitcoin is eclipsed by a different cryptocurrency if/when we come to it.


Making this site about other crypto-currencies was proposed, and I think it is very valid:

  1. It will open up the site to more people.
  2. It will broaden the perspective for the development of each form of crypto-currency.

I also think the scope should include all crypto currencies. You're going to get those questions anyways and unless you want a part time job flagging them, I think we should embrace them.

I don't mind the name staying bitcoin for marketing purposes.

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